Saturday, December 15, 2012

30 times more likely to be shot by police than in a mass shooting

Naturally, in the wake of another massacre, this time at an elementary school, calls for increased gun control are ringing loud. 20 of the victims in this shooting were children.

As a father myself, the horror of the experiencing the merciless killing of my child is too unbearable to even imagine. That said, I'd like to offer some perspective in this tragic time.

Over the last 10 years, approximately 194 individual have perished as a result of mass shootings in the US[1]. Compare that to the fact that 100 people per day die in car crashes[2], and 2640 per year from house fires[3].

How many people are killed by police each year in the US? We don't know, because it seems no one actually tracks this information, which is rather curious. Someone did collect data from news stories around the internet in 2011.
In 2011, according to data I have collected, police officers in the United States shot 1,146  people, killing 607[4].
About 20 people die each year in mass shootings, as noted above. You are 30 times more likely to be shot and killed by an agent of the state than you are by sociopath on a rampage. But I repeat myself.



  1. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_rampage_killers:_Americas
  2. http://www.census.gov/compendia/statab/2012/tables/12s1103.pdf
  3. http://www.cdc.gov/HomeandRecreationalSafety/Fire-Prevention/fires-factsheet.html
  4. In 2011, according to data I have collected, police officers in the United States shot 1,146  people, killing 607.

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